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Turning 19: What I Still Don’t Know As An Adult

I turn 19 in less than two weeks. Frankly, I have no idea how to feel about it. There was a point in my life when I wanted nothing more than to be older. Another year, month, or even week made me feel more superior somehow, and I always looked forward to my birthday. October has always been my favorite month for that reason.

But as this birthday comes up, I don’t know what my emotions are this time around. Sure, I’m older, but what’s the point of getting older now? I don’t get anything by turning 19 like I did when I turned 15 (permit) or 16 (license) or 18 (legal adult). I wanted so badly to be an adult when I was younger because I thought that I would know everything about the world and myself. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Not only do I not know everything about the world or myself, everything has seemingly gotten more confusing than it previously was as a teenager.

As an adult, I don’t know…

How to Pay Taxes

Although I’ve done it once before and had my dad explain it to me multiple times, taxes still pose a big threat to my knowledge. It doesn’t make sense that with all the records both banks and employers keep that we still have to manually calculate our own taxes (or more expensively, pay someone else to do it for us). Personally, I think it’s a triangle scheme meant to throw people in jail and provide people jobs.

How to Not Get Stressed Out About Grades (Or Anything School-Related)

My relationship with grades has had a rocky relationship ever since middle school. I immediately tied them to my self-worth and value as a person, which was always the one thing that you’re not supposed to do. From then on, I’ve taken the grades I’ve received a little too seriously and have cried much too often about a bad test grade or math problems I was afraid I would never solve.

To this day, it’s still a struggle not to stress myself out about my grades, even though you could say they matter quite less than they did in high school (as everyone says, Bs, Cs, and even Ds get degrees).  

How to Overcome FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

If someone asks me if I’m an introvert or extrovert, I will most likely say that I’m introverted, despite being on the cusp. It’s easier to put yourself in a situation where you say you don’t like talking to people than to get overwhelmed in conversation. That being said, I always find myself having the biggest fear of missing out (FOMO). I remember being at a concert and wondering what my friends were doing without me, even though I was having the time of my life. This happened all the time in high school while I was doing something for a club or staying in for the night, and it still happens occasionally now, even if it’s something adults are assumed to not be bothered by.

How to Talk to Authority Figures

I am an adult myself, yet I still get scared when talking to other adults. I remember when I was younger and refusing to answer the landline since it was always someone I didn’t know. When I say that I was younger, it also happened last weekend. This fear most likely comes from the earlier belief that adults were always right, although I know now that it’s usually not the case. Older adults are just better at appearing like they know what they’re doing, which intimidates me.

How to Ask For Help

Everyone needs help with something in their lives, it’s difficult to be completely independent. This is especially true when you become an adult since so much responsibility and choice is thrown on you once you turn 18.

I’ve always struggled to ask for help because I saw it as a sign of weakness. If I couldn’t do something on my own, then what could I do? Luckily that mindset has slightly shifted as I’ve aged, but I still find myself overloading on tasks or other responsibilities that could be solved by a simple and easy request with another person.

As an adult, i do know…

No One Knows Everything

This is the biggest misconception I’ve held in my life, that I would suddenly have all of life’s secrets once I hit a certain age. Truth is, no one knows everything, and it’s impossible for them to do so. Life is about creating experiences and learning every day, and reaching a certain age does not make those experiences for you.  So while there are many things that I don’t know, that’s the whole part of being an adult. There’s still plenty of time left to recognize my strengths and areas I’d like to work on. Then, I’ll know just a little bit more.

Anna Bedell

CU Boulder '25

Anna is a freshman at CU Boulder majoring in business marketing with a minor in journalism. She is super excited to be apart of Her Campus and is always looking to improve her writing skills. Anna has been writing creative fiction stories since the age of 7, and hopes to transfer her creativity into article writing. When not writing, she's seen rock climbing, playing various geography games, or watching movies that make her cry.
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